That’s the Spirit - Broads Authority launches its fastest ever patrol boat

Launch of new Broads patrol boat 'Spirit of Breydon' at Burgh Castle.

The Broads Authority's brand new heavy weather patrol vessel, The Spirit of Breydon, was unveiled at Burgh Castle marina near Great Yarmouth on Wednesday.

The £115,000 33ft long vessel, built by Burgh Castle-based firm Goodchild Marine, has been specially adapted to the meet specific requirements of keeping people on Breydon Water safe.

It can cruise economically at six knots and reach speeds of 20 knots, making it the Authority's fastest vessel.

It can be used up to 60 miles offshore and has been designed to cope with Breydon Water's waves which can reach up to five feet.

Speaking at the launch, Broads Authority chairman Stephen Johnson said: 'When the Authority took over responsibility for Breydon Water in June last year, we felt we needed to do certain things to ensure safety was better than it had been in the past. Safety was a paramount concern.'

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The authority has eight river vessels, but none able to reach the speeds or match the ability of The Spirit of Breydon.

'I often think of our existing launches as Morris Minors,' added Dr Johnson.

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'We needed something more like a Range Rover.'

Alan Goodchild, owner of Goodchild Marina, was pleased the contract had been won by a local firm, just yards from where the boat will actually be working.

Breydon Water connects the northern and southern broads, and links Norfolk and Suffolk rivers to the sea through Great Yarmouth Port.

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